‘A true U.K. MMA legend’: Pros react to Paul Daley’s final monster knockout in Bellator 281 retirement fight

There was no other way for Paul Daley to go out.

The 39-year-old pioneer of U.K. MMA authored a fitting comeback for his retirement fight on Friday at Bellator 281, storming back from an early deficit to demolish Wendell Giacomo with a flurry of blows near the end of the second round. In a brutal final sequence, Daley unleashed with punch after punch as Giacomo’s back was trapped against the fence, before finally dropping the Brazilian with a hook to the body followed by two more powerful hooks upstairs that sent his hometown London crowd into a frenzy.

The finish sent Daley off into the sunset with the 35th knockout win of an MMA career that began in 2003 and spanned multiple eras and major promotions. Daley has teased that his time in combat sports may not be over, but his MMA chapter is done after a 19-year run.

Reaction from the MMA world to Daley’s career-capping performance can be read below.

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